If you're gonna go please be in the first round.
south dakota state
Appreciate + Reciprocate. The student organization that puts on the Appreciate + Reciprocate dinner has snagged Desmond Howard this year. Nice.
They're raising money for the LSA Emergency Student Aid Fund, which supports students facing unexpected financial crises at home.
Get yer tickets. Details:
Date: Friday, April 12, 2012
Location: Great Lakes Room, Palmer Commons
Speakers: Desmond Howard and others to be announced!
Time: Appetizers at 6:30, dinner served at 7:15, event conclusion at 9:30
Tickets (partially tax-deductible): $100 for individuals, $50 for recent graduates, $200 to sit with a speaker
Silent auction offerings will include items signed by Coach Hoke and Desmond Howard, a tour of the new Player Development Center with Assistant Coach Bacari Alexander, a skating lesson with US Olympian Emily Samuelson, and more.
Women play tonight. The women's basketball team has made it to the second round of the NCAA tournament for the first time in a while; they take on one-seed Stanford at 9:50 tonight on ESPN2. They're obviously the underdog; Swish Appeal has keys to the upset. It would be Michigan's first ever Sweet 16 on the women's side.
Yes, this is the same time as USA-Mexico. I get complaints whenever I mention soccer, so you guys who complain about soccer should watch the basketball.
Projected spring practice content levels drop 85%. What am I supposed to write about now that Brennen Beyer has been moved back to SAM? I can't write about someone moving to SAM… or can I?
Brennen Beyer could move to SAM.
This isn't working at all. Dammit. Wait a minute…
Mattison said the move is not permanent, and that Beyer likely will shuffle back to the line once Ryan returns.
BRENNEN BEYER COULD MOVE TO WDE BOOM
I thought you guys were short newshole. How many words do you think an article about John Beilein's relationship with his former equipment manager at LeMoyne would be? Where in the country would this article originate? When would this article be published?
Bafflingly, the answers to these questions are "one butt ton," "Syracuse, New York," and "not 1980; in fact, right now." What a country.
Merph. I have a powerful desire to stick my fingers in my ears and go LA LA LA LA whenever the topic of the NBA draft comes up and understand entirely if you do this while reading this section. Let's not dwell on the pointlessness of this operation.
Anyway, Trey Burke is destined for the top ten and everyone expects him to be gone. The news on Glenn Robinson III is the thing that keeps varying. He's gone from off the radar to hyped to less hyped and now the hype is returning:
"Robinson may have helped his draft stock more than anyone on our Big Board this week," Ford wrote. "He's still raw offensively and depends on (Trey) Burke to set him up, but he has all the physical tools of a NBA small forward and is showing increased confidence at the right time.
"Someone will roll the dice on him in the 10-to-20 range if he decides to declare."
I don't know man. I'd think NBA teams would want to see him develop into a guy who can create his own offense and defend NBA threes. Robinson is noncommital about returning.
Ford also talks up McGary as a potential second-round pick, which doesn't seem like much of a threat.
Hockey departure update. Red:
Berenson on Trouba: "We'll have to wait and see how that works out with Winnipeg. He's done as much as he can do for a freshman."
Berenson says he doesn't expect anybody else besides Merrill or Trouba to consider leaving, but that he's been surprised before.
That qualifies as good news, I think. Hopefully at least one of the two defensmen won't want to leave Michigan after that season.
Inside South Dakota State. Grantland was embedded with the Jackrabbits and their offensive desire to get Michigan instead of Michigan State:
Moments later, Michigan State is announced as the third seed, and a chorus of gasps echoes through the room. "Oh no," I hear a player say. "Oh no oh no oh no." Like the Baylor team that eliminated SDSU last year, the Spartans' strength is their frontcourt, and the Jackrabbits don't match up well against big, athletic front lines. Yet they are spared from the bruising that MSU's Adreian Payne and Derrick Nix would lay on them, and instead Valparaiso will face the Spartans.
When Gumbel reaches the South bracket, he announces that the 4-seed is Michigan. "I'll play Michigan," says Jordan Dykstra, a sweet-shooting big man and the Jacks' second-leading scorer. "Let's play Michigan." Gumbel announces the 13-seed. It's South Dakota State.
They'll play Michigan.
This would be better if it was VCU. The whole thing is worth a read in any case.
Swing, pendulum, swing. Michigan's VCU blowout has earned them a ton of cred with the talking heads that were generally dismissive just one week ago. All four of CBS's basketball writers go with Michigan in the KU-M matchup. Andy Staples picks Michigan to win the regional. Myron Medcalf of ESPN picks Michigan just behind Louisville in a re-seed of the teams. Goodman say Michigan was the most impressive team of the opening weekend, and Kenpom's computer says Michigan has a… uh. Oh. A 3.2 percent chance to win the whole thing. That's up from 1.9 percent, though. Sweet.
The problem there is being in the same region as a Florida team taking on FGCU in the other matchup, so if you think the computers are vastly overrating the Gators you can up your optimism accordingly.
Anyway, I'm more on the Kenpom side of things. Whereas before the tournament people were extrapolating that the OHIO upset would always happen forever now they're assuming the VCU dismantling will always happen forever. As a guy who thought Michigan had a great draw the first weekend I'm looking at the Kansas game as a coinflip at best.
I guess. It's looking like Northwestern will hire Duke assistant Chris Collins. He's from the Chicago area and has experience in the kind of circles that might send a kid to Northwestern but it seems like hiring an assistant when you have 200-some mid-major coaches to choose from is risky.
DANTONIO UPDATE: STILL DANTONIO. Someone probably asked him if he'd watched the VCU game.
Dantonio abruptly ends scheduled media interview after five minutes, 30 seconds. Questions were harmless. Bizarre.
Etc.: Scouting Kansas. Pat Forde complains about coaches' complaints when coaches get fired. I'm with him, though I do like seeing Tom Izzo collapse into the fetal position when asked about it. Michigan needs Russell Bellomy to be viable if they're going to redshirt Morris.
Denard signed the Shredder's photoshops. For the first time since 1979, no Michigan team will play in the NCAA hockey tourney. The Daily on Hunwick's rise and the end of the streak. Will Leitch is more understanding of referees than I am.
3/21/2012 – Michigan 71, South Dakota State 56 – 27-7, entry to second round of tourney
This game turned into a Mexican standoff of "if you told me before the game" stats: Trey Burke has six points versus Nate Wolters has ten points versus Tim Hardaway is 5/7 from three. That's two for Michigan, one for South Dakota State, and even if the way everyone got there was a little weird the end result was basically as expected.
What does the "how" suggest about the remainder of Michigan's tourney run? Well.
Michigan can shut down a star dude and simultaneously reduce quality looks from three. Wolters had few quality opportunities and Michigan still managed to hold SDSU to 4/19 from three. The number is dead on SDSU's season average, but few of those looks were top quality. Pair that with holding Wolters to ten points and that's a nice tradeoff.
Of course, Michigan may not be able to do those two things and prevent themselves from getting chewed up on twos. SDSU held themselves in this by hitting 58% inside the line. Concern? Possibly. Michigan's various exertions to reach the Wolters/3P% numbers above left Tony Fiegen open for a series of medium to long range twos, all of which he knocked down. But if that's what your defense gives up, like… okay.
Glenn Robinson may be able to up his production. With SDSU sagging off of Burke, Robinson got three near-identical corner threes in the second half, all of which he took, and all of which he knocked down. Please just do that instead of clutching and driving for an off-the-dribble long two. At least, more often. More than the sheer efficiency of his production I enjoyed the fact that he got 10 shot opportunities, many of which were not simple putbacks that may or may not be there.
Robinson will be critical against VCU as a converter of open-court opportunities. He and Hardaway are Michigan's most effective finishers at the rim (73 and 72 percent, respectively). Those ten to fifteen points of eFG will add up.
Mitch McGary is the starter. Rebounding was dead even in this one, and you'd like something a bit better against a smallish Summit team. One game is two small a sample to extrapolate from, though, and we have a season-long statistical record indicating that McGary is a vacuum, particularly on the offensive end. Add that to a steal-and-dunk on a lazy post pass per game and various other harassments and it's hard to get him off the court once he's on it, as Morgan found out. His turnover rate isn't even that bad: 18.7. Usually any big under 20 isn't a problem.
Michigan's probably going to need to haul Morgan out against VCU, though. Whether it's foul trouble or running up and down the court all the time, McGary will have to sit for longer than he did in the last one.
Head in game, please Mr. Morgan. The aftermath of Thursday's game seems to have shaken Morgan's always-fragile psyche:
"I think I was in for like two possessions, and got two stops," said Morgan, who was named to the Big Ten's all-defensive team this year. "I guess, I mean, that's what I do."
Will he play more Saturday, when the Wolverines face the winner of No. 5 VCU/No. 12 Akron for a bid to the Sweet 16?
"I'm not sure," he said. "It's not my job."
Michigan will need him. Someone dispatch the sports psychologist.
Michigan could end up going super-small. I wouldn't expect a single two-big lineup tomorrow what with the press and all. Michigan will be able to substitute a little more liberally than usual since this is a game in which Hardaway could plausibly run the 4, especially during the 13 minutes or so per game that VCU sits 6'5" Treveon Graham and brings in a 6'3" guy in his place. That would pave the way for extra Spike/Caris action as Michigan tries to get more ballhandling on the floor and avoid a late-game exhaustion slide.
That would make Michigan's four-out, one-in setup almost impossible to sag on. If Burke turns the corner off of a pick and roll, instead of sagging off GRIII and his relatively infrequent threes (62 this year), it's Hardaway or Stauskas. GRIII is still going to be hugely important, but they can rest him more than they usually do and not get pounded on the boards while still giving VCU a defensive conundrum.
Burke says he feels fine. He's fine enough to drop zingers, anyway:
"I'm fine, I'm ready to go for Saturday," Burke said. "I was a little over-dramatic out there, but I got about 30 seconds of rest, so that felt good."
Burke was going about 100 mph, a pace your average Jackrabbit doesn't mind. Since gaining so much national acclaim, he has struggled a bit, as if the attention was wearing. Michigan shadowed Wolters and South Dakota State shadowed Burke. So naturally, that launched a one-on-one showdown between Hardaway Jr. and Brayden Carlson. Huh? Hardaway Jr. is not a surprise, but Carlson was the only Jackrabbit starter not averaging double figures, and he had 16 in the first half.
Merry Christmas! Things are happening. So far not particularly interesting things, but my productivity is as damaged as all of yours. Our South Dakota State preview went up Monday. In a nutshell:
Nate Wolters is Summit Trey Burke. South Dakota State won the Summit with a 13-3 record; their only KP100 victories came against conference-mate NDSU (#72; SDSU went 2-1 against them) and a stunning road win over New Mexico that went down despite the Jackrabbits having to bus their way to Albuquerque. They finished third in their conference in defensive efficiency but no one plays D in the Summit and once Kenpom throws in the schedule strength adjustment, SDSUs defense drops into the 200s.
Michigan's defense isn't great, but it's nowhere near that. If Michigan can D-up a bit they should make it through.
S-E-C. Oh, Cuonzo Martin.
You guys are going to have to improve your level of play before we consider you a mid-major conference, I think. The game article of course focuses on how much longer Mercer had to get over the disappointment of making the tournament; Martin says his players were "emotionally drained," of course.
Titus says not today. I would mind Mark Titus being completely wrong on this:
Trey Burke will spoil the Nate Wolters coming-out party
I really hope I’m wrong on this, not just because I want to see my alma mater’s biggest rival lose in the first round, but also because there’s a decent amount of hype surrounding Wolters and I would love for him to live up to it. I’m fully aware of what he’s capable of against Summit League competition, but like most college basketball fans, I’ve yet to see him play on a big stage. And going toe-to-toe in the NCAA tournament against a former no. 1–ranked team led by the probable national player of the year is about as big as the stage gets. Because of this matchup and because a lot of people have heard about Wolters but haven’t seen him play, Michigan-South Dakota State is one of the most anticipated Day 1 games. Wolters’s entire career will culminate with his showdown against Burke, and his NBA future could depend largely on this one game. Unfortunately, I expect Burke to get the better of him and prove why he’s the best point guard in America. But I wouldn’t mind being completely wrong.
I too am dreading an unspecified commercial that will make me homicidal for the next three weeks. I swear to God if I see that dip with the blue guitar today I'm watching the entire tourney on mute.
People who don't understand probability make me mad and want to play poker. Kenpom takes issue with Mike DeCourcy's inability to multiply. I'm with him, of course. I mean…
Actually us “metrics people” can avoid it. Florida reasonably has a 10 to 20 percent of winning the tournament. They will almost surely end their season, like 67 other tournament teams, with a loss. Their chances of getting to the Final Four are less than 50/50. The “metrics” actually tell you this, but either Mike doesn’t understand the concept of probabilities, or he willingly ignores this to stake out a position that will make him look like a savant at some point over the next three weeks. His approach is very likely to win over an audience in the world of the metrics-haters. (Or as I prefer to call them, dorks.)
Stuff like this that drives me nuts even when I know I'm susceptible to the same thinking on occasion. (See: annual sheepish "we're sorry, Kenpom" when Wisconsin turns out to be kind of good.) DeCourcy isn't even interested in trying to figure it out, which is a crappy way to be an arguer about sports. "I don't understand your argument. Therefore you lack heart."
Morgan might not start. Hard to argue with that after the last few games:
"That injury really took his timing off," Beilein said. "He's a kid who takes the game very seriously -- maybe too seriously. He just needs to relax and play and know we believe in him.
"He's going to get in there tomorrow and we hope he's going to do what he needs to do."
Would be nice to get him back functional in the near future. The very near future.
Insert clasped "excellent" hands here. Devin Gardner on not being a supervillain:
Gardner also has immersed himself in non-Michigan film. Coordinator Al Borges has provided cut-ups of former NFL quarterback Jason Campbell when he played at Auburn under Borges, in an offense that will resemble Michigan's next season.
"It would be sinister for me not to watch those guys," he says.
Tate Forcier was last seen plotting to blow up the White House with a laser made from clips of him against Notre Dame.
"(I learned from Robinson) never get too happy, or too sad, when you do things," Gardner said. "It's just a happy medium you have to find."
In other spring news. Desmond Morgan working "exclusively" at MLB for the moment; expected to know both LB spots; dollars to donuts he starts at MLB with Ross on the weakside. Marvin Robinson is your extremely tenuous early Kovacs replacement leader; sounds like Burzynski is mostly focusing on guard right now.
Etc.: GRIII noncommital about NBA. Nothing can ever change in the NCAA. Do you like blurry photos of shirtless dudes too? Ondre Pipkins did lose a lot of belly. Derrick Walton and Zak Irvin are the Michigan and Indiana state players of the year, respectively.
|WHAT||Michigan vs South Dakota State|
|WHERE||Palace Of Auburn Hills
Auburn Hills, Michigan
|WHEN||7:15 PM Eastern, Thursday|
|LINE||Michigan –13 (KP)|
I'll take "Signs You Might Be An Ag School for 1000, Alex."
Michigan draws the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in round one in what at first blush looks like a good draw. SDSU is #102 in Kenpom, a 13-3 Summit League team sporting a 25-9 record highlighted by a road win at three-seed New Mexico and uh… unhighlighted by ugly blowouts against Minnesota and Belmont.
HOWEVA, their jerseys are basically Generic State U from the Allstate Mayhem commercials, so, like, beware mayhem. Also they have a really good player, and that really good player did not participate in the Minnesota blowout. (Sprained ankle if you're curious.)
Senior point guard Nate Wolters is the Trey Burke of the Summit, a huge-usage, high-efficiency scorer and distributor. The numbers are eerily close:
- USAGE: Burke 29%, Wolters 30.3%
- ASSISTS: Burke 38.4, Wolters 34.5
- TORate: Burke 12.4, Wolters 12.5
- Shooting (FT/3/2): Burke 79/52/40, Wolters 81/55/39
Though I did not pay much attention to the Jackrabbits earlier this year, I knew Wolters's name sounded familiar.
As the man said: eerie.
The 6'4" Wolters carries a heavier rebounding load and gets to the line a lot more, possibly because the Summit isn't too good at defending really good players, possibly because fouls exist in that league. Here he is putting 53 points on IPFW earlier this year:
He is not just a product of his competition. He's getting NBA attention. Chad Ford ranks him just outside the second round and Draft Express projects him to go in the second round; he got a full-on profile piece on NBA.com.
Wolters size makes him an interesting defensive matchup. SDSU doesn't put a guy shorter than 6'4" on the floor, and Trey has to check someone. Can Wolters post up a la Chauncey Billups? Will Michigan swap a longer guy on him in an effort to disrupt his game? Would it be smart to give Trey some time against designated Stand In The Corner And Snipe Guy to save his legs?
There's no shortage of those corner snipers. SDSU surrounds Wolters with shooters, shooters, shooters. The tallest guy to get time, post-type substance Jordan Dykstra, shoots 43% from three on 128 attempts. They've got another 43% shooter in 6'6" swingman Chad White, who has the statistical profile of a corner gunner: 173 3PA, 78 2PA, 43 FTA, no assists, no turnovers, no OREB. The fourth option, shooting guard Brayden Carlson, also takes a majority of his shots from behind the line. He hits at a respectable 36% clip, so you can't leave him, either.
Dykstra is an interesting kid with a thick body who can drive and post up Summit-level athletes in addition to his Pittsnogle duties:
Physically it makes more sense for Michigan to have Morgan/McGary/Horford on him and let Robinson check the smaller Tony Fiegen, but in terms of game they might want to reverse that since the bigs are not as prepared to close out as a guy like Robinson. Dykstra is a beast on the defensive boards but doesn't do as much on offense because he spends a lot of time on the perimeter.
In terms of tempo style, White and Carlson are pretty much the same dude. Carlson is vaguely more likely to assist on something and less likely to hit a shot (45/36); White is a top-50 efficiency player (54/43) who mostly knocks down the looks Wolters sets up. At 6'6", he would be Nik Stauskas except he is just a shooter—only 16% of his attempts are at the rim.
The only guy who you do not have to close out is 6'7" post guy Tony Fiegen, who you are going to hate for reasons that have nothing to with Tony Fiegen. He is from Madison and looks like this:
He takes a lot of twos at a 55% clip. Hopping over to hoop-math, Fiegen ends up taking a lot of two-point jumpers (59%) compared to McGary and Morgan, who get about 75% of their looks at the rim. Not a whole lot else stands out statistically. He gets some rebounds, he does not block shots or get steals, he keeps out of foul trouble. He is a low-turnover guy for a post.
SDSU relies heavily on its starters. No backup gets more than 30% of available time, and SDSU is near the bottom of the country in bench minutes. Only three guys are in the 8-12 minute range. The first is Marcus Heemstra, the backup post. He shoots efficiently and is a little bit of a shot blocker; he's their best offensive rebounder as well. The second is Taevaunn "Don't Call Me Tayshaun" Prince, a low-efficiency guard who gets to the line a lot. The third is Jake Bittle, a freshman turnover machine.
SDSU played four major-conference or Belmont teams in their nonconference schedule:
- @ Alabama: L 70-67
- @ Minnesota: L 88-64 (Wolters did not play)
- @ Belmont: L 76-49
- @ New Mexico: W 70-65
They also lost at #302 Hofstra and had a couple of late-season nonconference losses against #241 Cal-Bakersfield and #139 Murray State. There's a profusion of close calls lurking once you drill down. SDSU beat Marshall, North Dakota, and Montana by one, the second in double OT.
Kenpom has the Summit League #23 of 32 conferences; the only top 100 team in it is North Dakota State. There are only two common opponents on the schedules of SDSU and Michigan: IUPUI and Minnesota. Both teams beat up on IUPUI, Michigan once, the Jackrabbits three times. Michigan beat Minnesota by eight; SDSU lost by 24.
Last year, 14-seed SDSU gave Baylor a game, eventually losing 68-60. SDSU led for much of the first half and it took the Bears 35 minutes to push their lead to double digits. Seven of the eight rotation players return from that team.
THAT NEW MEXICO GAME
Wha happen? Two New Mexico starters sat the first six minutes for being late to the game. This does not qualify as an excuse for them since SDSU arrived in Albuquerque fresh off a 1,200 mile bus trip, but when they returned New Mexico was in a seven-point hole.
Wolters went off, hitting 8/10 twos and going 9/11 from the line. The rest of the team shot okay from three and was decent from two. For its part, New Mexico shot poorly from two. It seems like that's an aberration on New Mexico's part more than anything else. SDSU is not a good defensive team, as we'll see.
Four factors. Ranks are in parentheses and out of 347.
|eFG%||Turnover %||Off. Reb. %||FTA/FGA|
|Offense||53.5 (26)||16.3 (10)||29.0 (262)||33.5 (242)|
|Defense||50.9 (261)||17.1 (309)||26.0 (11)||24.6 (4)|
If this looks familiar, it should. Welcome to Poor Man's Version Of Michigan. If you've seen Michigan play, you have an idea of how SDSU games play out: a lot of made shots, not many turnovers or free throws either way. Michigan is better than the Jackrabbits in every department except getting to the line—ref grumble inserted—and defensive rebounding.
When Kenpom kicks in the schedule adjustment, though, things have a disparity to them. Michigan's offense is second and defense 58th; SDSU is 39th and 209th, respectively. That's not good:
Michigan has played just four Division I teams with a worse adjusted defensive efficiency this season; Central Michigan, Binghamton, Cleveland State and IUPUI. The Wolverines scored 323 points on 259 possessions in those four games.
If the Jackrabbits can keep pace with 1.25 PPP that'll be a a surprise. In conference play SDSU's defense was third, it's just that no one plays defense in the Summit.
Save #145 Montana, other 13s show better in Kenpom, ranging from #49 (play-in game participant Boise State) to #80 New Mexico State. Disclaimers about OHIO and Penn State and whatnot apply, but teams around SDSU in Kenpom include Oregon State (14-18 in the Pac-12), Rutgers, Texas, and hammered-by-Nebraska USC.
Switch everything! Switch a lot of things, at least. If it gets Michigan stuck in a bad matchup, okay. Gol dang this team can shoot it from deep. According to hoop-math, almost literally every three not launched by Wolters is assisted. Cutting down on opportunities to launch is key to avoiding the upset.
Close everything. Also, no sag. After watching most of the youtube items featuring Wolters, a pattern emerges in which Wolters gets kind of by his guy for a couple steps and then chucks it to a shooter, who has a step and then shoots. The guy has a step because the man on the perimeter has taken a useless half-step towards Wolters.
Split up the defensive duties on Wolters. Michigan may as well switch off who is the primary defender on Summit Trey Burke to give him different looks, keep guys from getting gassed on defense and having that impact their offense, etc. The guys surrounding Wolters aren't bad, but damn near every three they take is generated by Wolters doing something.
Trey: win matchup. If that occurs Michigan is good. Against a team with this defensive profile, he should. I'd be surprised if Wolters can stay in front of the guy and once Trey gets to the lane there is no shot blocker in there—SDSU is 307th in that department.
Sic 'em, McGary. Like Michigan's defense, excellent defensive rebounding props up some unfavorable numbers elsewhere. Unlike Michigan's defense, SDSU has not gone through the Big Ten ringer and seen their numbers drop through the floor. They got clunked by Minnesota, which everyone does; they did well against New Mexico and Alabama. Not a lot of data to go on there—New Mexico's worst Factor is OREB—and McGary will have a size/roar advantage against a Summit foe.
THE SECTION WHERE I PREDICT THE SAME THING KENPOM DOES
Michigan by 13.